Man out of hospital and in jail charged with murder

Oliver Scott Cannon

CHATSWORTH, Ga. — A Chatsworth man charged with the murder of his wife is in the Murray County jail after being released from the hospital for treatment of a self-inflicted gunshot to the “chin area.”

Oliver Scott Cannon, 57, was arrested and charged with murder on Friday by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office. He had been under medical care at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga since shooting himself in the face during a standoff with law enforcement authorities on Sept. 25. Earlier that day, Cannon shot and killed Johnnie Shoemaker Cannon, his wife of 32 years, Sheriff Gary Langford said. 

“We have him back in our facility, and he is recovering and walking around,” Langford said. “I am sure it will be a while before he is back to normal. We will have to take him back to the doctors to be checked.”

Members of the Georgia State Patrol’s SWAT team deployed several cannisters of tear gas into Cannon’s trailer at 135 Holly Creek Drive on Sept. 25 after a nearly three-hour standoff between Cannon and authorities that afternoon. Langford said Cannon shot his wife in the chest around 10 a.m. in front of a basement door at the home where she was living off Leonard Bridge Road. After the tear gas was used to try to bring Cannon out of the trailer, a single gunshot was heard from inside the residence and Cannon came out shortly thereafter, Langford said.

Langford said a 9 mm pistol was recovered from the residence, and he is waiting for a ballistics report to possibly tie the gun to the death of Johnnie Cannon. 

“Murder is the only charge we have on him at this time,” Langford said. “We are not 100 percent sure that was the same gun he shot her with and we won’t know until we get the reports back from the state crime lab.”

Langford said the couple were living in separate residences. 

“I know they were arguing and separated and that was what it looks like led to all of this,” Langford said. 

He said the self-inflicted gunshot Cannon suffered wasn’t life-threatening. 

“It was in the chin area,” Langford said. “It was more cosmetic than life-threatening. Usually when you hear someone shot themselves in the head it is usually very serious. This one was more cosmetic.”

Langford said Cannon remains on a feeding tube, and while the bulk of the investigation has been completed, he is still waiting on reports from the state crime lab as well as toxicology reports on Cannon from Erlanger.

“At this point, we are still tying up loose ends,” Langford said. “There are still a lot of things to come from the crime lab and things like that.”

Cannon is being held without bond and was meeting Monday with representatives from the public defender’s office to see if he qualifies for their representation. No court date had been set as of Monday. 

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